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ToS question

Hi everyone! I've been wanting to get back into doing commissions and have started writing up a ToS and commission form for myself.

But one thing I'm paranoid about is the sudden influx of chargebacks some artists have been experiencing. I know that there's no sure fire way to protect yourself from this happening, or a way to make Paypal's decision work in your favour, but I did write something in my ToS regarding them:

Please make sure that you are using your own Paypal/Bank/credit card account and funds - if you are using your parents or guardian's Paypal/Bank/credit card account and funds please provide evidence that you have received permission to use it.

If I receive a chargeback from you due to your parents or guardians requesting it despite this you will be blacklisted permanently, a warning will be sent to Artists Beware, and I will request for any uploaded images to be removed by site admins. Images can be reuploaded once payment is received again, and any published warnings will be updated to advise that payment has been received, but blacklisting will not be revoked.

If not stated I will assume that you are using your own accounts for payment - if a chargeback is requested I will be informing Paypal that it was never mentioned that the funds were not your own and that you accepted responsibility to pay for your commission using these funds.

The questions I had in regards to this is:

1. Can I even have something like this in my ToS?
2. If yes, is it worded okay?
3. If no, do I have any other options that might help in the event of a chargeback? (I know people have mentioned sending CDs/USBs to customers, but I'm not sure if that can be an option for me at this stage)

In terms of proof I'm thinking like a screenshot of an email or a photo of a note. I'm not really seeing the need for this, but I know there may be the odd occasion where I may be commissioned by someone younger, or someone that may think they can just buy something without asking to use their guardian's Paypal first and falling into strife later for it.

In the commission form itself I also have a dropdown menu that asks "Are you using your own funds? Yes/No" that has to be filled out before submitting the form, but may revise it to "your own Paypal".

So yeah, any thoughts? I really want to do commissions again but I want to make sure I'm keeping myself covered so it's as headache free as possible.

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2014 01:17 am (UTC)
I know it can be hard to control but working with minors is always tricky because even if you have that in your ToS being underage means you cant hold them to contract.

I dont know how one goes about getting parental permission for commissions.
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:23 am (UTC)
One thing I was thinking was that they get like a written note or something to show that someone has given them permission to use their parents/guardian's funds. But thinking about it more, and with the feedback I'm getting from everyone, it does seem like it's going to be more of a pain to enforce more than the chargeback itself.

My main concern as well was, as far as I saw, the recent influx of chargebacks was being done by people that were seemingly people that were of legal age, but were for some reason using their parents' paypal. That could be me misunderstanding the situations I was reading, but I was still boggled that someone that was an adult was using the excuse "My dad did the chargeback, not me!"

In cases like that would I still have a leg to stand on by saying "My customer was an adult" when going to Paypal to plead my case.
Nov. 27th, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
This is something that will be impossible to enforce. If someone is not legally old enough to enter into a contract, a wording in your ToS is likely not going to stop them. Additionally, because they can't be held to a contract, it's very likely that Paypal will side with the parent anyway regardless if you have proof that they agreed to the commission.

The only protection that anyone has when it comes to chargebacks is to:
1. Call Paypal immediately.
2. Speak to a representative.
3. Light a candle/ say a prayer/ say the chant of light and hope you get the right Paypal rep to help you.
4. Warn the artist community.
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, with everyone's feedback so far I'm realising more that this would probably cause more headaches than anything else orz.

Even in cases where the customer is of legal age, if they do a chargeback for whatever reason my fear is that somehow Paypal will still side with them. But I guess if I have enough proof that 1. they were of legal age and 2. they received their commission it miigghhttt be okay.
(no subject) - sableantelope - Nov. 27th, 2014 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 27th, 2014 05:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sableantelope - Nov. 27th, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 30th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 27th, 2014 01:28 am (UTC)
As I understand it, Paypal does protect you if it is a physical object and you ship it with a tracking number. Though if it's worth over $250 (I think) you have to have with a signature delivery as well to cover yourself from credit card company rules.

So if your art is digital, include in your TOS that you will always ship a print and do that with the required tracking number and/or signature delivery.

Simply charge the commissioner for the few dollars it takes to print and ship. It's not like it has to be photo quality. Just a physical object. It will reduce your takers, but most of us have see enough people screw artists over that we won't mind.

I don't know if it's to your benefit to state that the price is for the production of the print (which would include producing the art by definition) or not.

As far as I know, there is nothing you can do to protect yourself from folks that claim or do steal other people's accounts. Though the 'art you using your own paypal/credit card' line might get you out of paying paypal's fees over any chargebacks. Just make sure the default answer is 'no'.

As for being commissioned by someone younger, I strongly recommend simply not accepting it. Yes, it's punishing the responsible youth for the crimes of their peers, but there's good reason that most businesses won't directly do work for/take orders from legal minors. An adult can be charge with a crime over this. A minor can not be.

Your final payment option is to take yourself out of the line of fire and accept payment via site currency. Yes, places like DA take 20% out, but you can make that up by charging 20% more. Since DA points are not refundable and it's actually the site accepting payment for them from the card, you can't receive chargeback.
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:35 am (UTC)
Hmm, I might need to look into postage costs. I'm from Australia so if my customer is within Australia the postage will be dirt cheap, but overseas that's when it gets dicey from memory. Just shipping a small item to the states can cost up to $15, so it makes me nervous to charge people shipping that much on top of a commission when all they will get is a CD/print.

Printing itself won't be an issue because I have a good printer at home, just... yeah. Living in the middle of an ocean helps no one.

I can change the option on my form so that it asks for a date of birth instead - the site I'm using to store my form is Weebly, but they limit how much you can put on a page if you're using it for free. Google forms I tried to use but it boggled me so badly I didn't know what else to do. But if I at least have a date of birth on record somewhere I can use that to my defence, even if the customer for some reason lies about their age then tries to do a chargeback.

DA (at this stage) I simply refuse to use because of the site itself. DA points plus DA taking a cut of the profit sounds counter productive to me, even if (I think?) I can translate it later to actual money.
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:41 am (UTC)
I wouldn't have mentioned DA specifically if you couldn't turn it to real money. That conversion is the only time they take a cut. Though you might need to be premium for it to work. I'm not sure. The rules change from time to time as with all sites.

I understand that oversees shipping is horrific, though I wouldn't think that a standard letter envelope would be that bad. Fold the piece of paper. State that you will be. Still track it.

(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 27th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kattotang - Nov. 27th, 2014 10:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 30th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 27th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
If you honestly want to keep yourself as "headache free as possible" then do not do business with minors. Period.

Unless you are selling what are legally defined as essentials in your area, which art commission most certainly aren't, you can't enter into a contract with a minor and so you have no legal protection.
For example if a minor bought a $2000 fursuit, burned it the day they received it, then the parents did a chargeback or sued you for the $2000 back you would have to return that money- even though it put you at a great loss.

I realise some young people on FA are trustworthy, it's not about any pesonal judgement. It's about the fact you have no legal protection.
Nov. 27th, 2014 04:11 am (UTC)
If you honestly want to keep yourself as "headache free as possible" then do not do business with minors. Period.

Yeah, this. I only ever do business with minors if it's in person, with cash, and with a parent/guardian present. Online, though? Too much that can go wrong and there'd be nothing I could do about it.
(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 27th, 2014 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:41 am (UTC)
Yeah I totally understand! I've seen a a few posts on here about the same, even when dealing with an artist that's underage themselves to avoid.

I know different countries have different legal ages, but I'm safe to assume that legal age should be 18+?
(no subject) - sableantelope - Nov. 27th, 2014 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 30th, 2014 06:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm going to be changing this overall to just state that I will only work with people of legal age instead, and maybe keep this as a separate TOS to explain that if I get a chargeback it will be reported for people to know about it. Maybe the warning will scare off people that think they can just do it for a laugh/use it as a backup for buyer's remorse.

And everyone's been giving awesome advise, including you - I watch this community and everyone's always helpful, so I knew I'd get good answers here :D
(no subject) - gatekat - Nov. 27th, 2014 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sableantelope - Nov. 27th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenreaper - Nov. 29th, 2014 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sableantelope - Dec. 2nd, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 27th, 2014 04:57 am (UTC)
Have them send you an e-mail confirming the payment was sent from the e-mail account attached to said paypal and continue to talk to that paypal. You will have physical proof that the owner of that paypal sent that payment and that they continued the conversation.

And yes, ship something with a tracking number.

And yes, don't do business with minors
Nov. 27th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
Just a question about this because I'm slightly confused - I personally use a separate email for my Paypal (a hotmail address), and another for communicating (a gmail address) because... I just do orz. In cases like that would it be an idea to ask for a confirmation email from the Paypal address, then continue with their contact address?

I'm planning on using an invoice for Paypal transactions, so would that have some sort of confirmation alert to it as well?

And I'm going to be looking into postage for here and tracking numbers, I'm thinking it's be easier/cheaper to do it in bulk as well.

And definitely will not be thanks to the feedback everyone's given me XD
(no subject) - familliaraver - Nov. 27th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_outcasts - Nov. 30th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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